All the King’s Horses, All the King’s Men, and Other Broken Things

“Rebekah, you have one hour to let it all out and pull yourself back together.”

Those are the words I whispered to the girl in the mirror right before she completely fell apart. Right before her face dissolved into a puddle of tears and her whole body ached with the weight of her sorrow as she sank down onto the floor and wondered how this could have happened.

It’s so easy—the letting it out part. The taking of that deep, shuddering breath that releases the floodgate of emotions. The grief and heartache and confusion and despair. That stuff comes easy. But the pulling it back together…

Is that even possible? When your shoulders are wracked with sobs and your face burns red from the sting of your tears? When what seems like a vital piece of your life has just been cruelly and suddenly taken from you?

You can fall apart in a heartbeat.

A single phone call.
A simple phrase.
A life-altering event.

But can you ever pick up the splintered shards of your heart and hope for a moment that the pieces will somehow resemble what they once were?

It makes me think of Humpty Dumpty having his great fall. As we all know, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.

“But the King can,” someone once told me. “The King can.”

That’s the part of the story Mother Goose forgot to tell.

There’s still Someone who can make sense of the pieces where others have failed.

There’s Someone who can make beauty from ashes.

The realization I had to come to on the day that phone call wrecked my heart is that there is one, simple fact in life:

Either God is good, or He isn’t.

We have a choice to believe what we will, and I choose to believe that God is good. Even when life doesn’t make sense. Even when I’m left reeling in the wake of a sudden and tragic loss.

I choose to believe in a God who can pick up the pieces and make something beautiful from the chaos of my life.

And, no, I’ll never be the same. Because this event has changed me. This tragedy has taken something beautiful from me that will never, ever be recovered.

But those fragmented pieces of my heart still fit together somehow, and there is a God who is lovingly and tenderly putting them back into place. And I’m marveling at the work of art I’m already becoming.

Because we’re all just broken pieces. Like a kaleidoscope or a stained glass window. The most broken parts of us—all our flaws and cracks—are blended together to form something beautiful. Yes, we still reflect beauty. Even in our heartache. Even in our sorrow and grief and despair.

There is a God who makes beautiful things from broken things.

And that is the knowledge I cling to when the world rocks crazy and my heart lies in fragments on the floor.

beauty in brokenness